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Jobs Could Go In Bradford As Thomas Cook Axes 100s Of Jobs

Holiday firm, which has a headquarters in West Yorkshire, to close 200 stores.

Holiday firm Thomas Cook has revealed plans to close an additional 200 stores and axe hundreds of jobs over the next two years.

It is launching a review of its UK business following a disastrous year in which it made a pre-tax loss of £398m in the 12 months to September compared to a £40m profit a year earlier.

The firm had already planned to shut 75 of its 1,300 travel stores following its merger with the Co-op's UK high street travel business.

The group, which sells more than 22 million holidays a year in the UK, delayed its results last month as it revealed it had gone back to its lenders for more cash.

Its shares slumped 75% in one day amid fears for its survival but the 170-year-old company claims it is now on a sound financial footing after securing a new bank facility totalling £200m.

In its results announcement today, Thomas Cook claimed bookings had picked up again in the UK in the wake of its refinancing.

It had issued a series of profit warnings as people cut back on holidays, while the Arab Spring also hit bookings to Tunisia and Egypt.

The poor performance in the UK led to the departure of its chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa in August, leaving the group to be run by his deputy Sam Weihagen until a replacement is found.

New chairman Frank Meysman is also expected to carry out a boardroom cull over coming months.

The group earlier this year said it would sell £200m of assets in the next six to 18 months as it looks to take a chunk out of its debt mountain.

Its UK review is expected to help deliver annual profit improvements of £110m.

Measures include aircraft numbers being cut from 41 to 35 while mainstream package holidays will be focussed on the best performing hotels.

It yesterday announced the sale of its stake in five hotels and a golf resort in Spain in a deal that will reduce its borrowings by £80m.

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